My Student Loans

My Student Loans

Getting to and through veterinary school takes a long time and a lot of education. Along the way, you can borrow a variety of loan types to finance your education resulting in a complex student loan portfolio. Before you can formulate a repayment plan, you need to understand your student loans.  This short video tutorial will show you how to retrieve and upload your NSLDS file.


The VIN Foundation My Student Loans tool will help you make sense of your student loan portfolio. Using your National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) file, My Student Loans will organize your loans by type, date received, interest rate, principal, calculate a weighted average interest rate, and estimate your monthly interest accumulation. This information is crucial for helping you determine which repayment plans you can use.


Then you can use My Student Loan information to craft a loan repayment plan by entering the principal, unpaid interest, and weighted average interest rate into the Student Loan Repayment Simulator to see which plans you should use.


To retrieve your NSLDS file, visit NSLDS.ED.GOV. Login using your Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID), the same information you used to apply for federal student loans. Find the MyStudentData Download button and download your MyStudentData.txt file to your computer.  You can upload this file into the VIN Foundation My Student Loans tool. The short video tutorial above will show you how to retrieve and upload your NSLDS file.


You’ll find multiple loan types in your NSLDS record. Direct loan types, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) types, and Perkins loans. Only Direct loans qualify for the more beneficial income-driven repayment plans like Pay as You Earn (PAYE) and Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE). If you have non-Direct type loans, you might consider using a federal Direct Consolidation loan to have more of your loan portfolio eligible for PAYE or REPAYE plans.


If you’re not sure which loan repayment plans you can use, review the Student Debt Center WikiDebt resource, compiled from the myriad of questions asked by your veterinary colleagues on how best to handle their student loans. To simulate your repayment costs and execute your loan repayment plan, explore the Student Loan Repayment Simulator. If you have questions, comments or feedback, please post it here or send your thoughts to

Dr. Tony Bartels graduated in 2012 from the Colorado State University combined MBA/DVM program and is an employee of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) and a VIN Foundation Board member. He and his wife have more than $400,000 in veterinary-school debt that they manage using federal income-driven repayment plans. By necessity (and now obsession), his professional activities include researching and speaking on veterinary-student debt, providing guidance to colleagues on loan-repayment strategies and contributing to VIN Foundation initiatives.

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